Elstree and Boreham Wood and the 1948 Olympic Games
The athletic events in the 1948 Olympic Games took place in Wembley Stadium. The Marathon and the 50K walk started and finished there but their route took them along the roads of Hertfordshire and Middlesex. In Hertfordshire, the route passed through Elstree and Borehamwood.
The Marathon runners entered Hertfordshire at Stirling Corner and then onto the Barnet Bypass, through to the Elstree Way, Shenley Road and along Theobald Street to the railway bridge at Radlett.
Here the runners turned north onto Watling Street and passed through villages to the west joining the Watford Bypass and returning to the Stadium, leaving the Hertfordshire boundary shortly before passing the foot of Elstree Hill South.
Marathon runners in Elstree... ...and in Boreham Wood...
A week later, the Walking competitors had a shorter route back to Wembley, turning south along Watling Street and passing through Elstree Village at its crossroads, which was the highest point of the race. Here they re-entered Middlesex.
...down Shenley Road
Another local Olympic fact: In the 1948 Olympics, Watford born Joyce Richards was the first woman British Sprint Canoeist to represent Great Britain in the Olympic Games. She did all her training on the reservoir at Elstree :